KSN Storm Track 3 Digital Extra: This season’s hard freeze is coming

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Our spring and fall months across Kansas often experience wild temperature swings. While we have a brief warm-up this week, winter is lurking around the corner.

A cold front that moves through Thursday night into Friday morning will set the stage and set us back to more fall-like standards heading into the weekend. Freeze Watches are in effect Thursday night into Friday morning for a good chunk of our counties where it will be the coldest.

Late in the weekend and into early next week, the coldest air of the season will be served up. We might even see some snow!

High temperatures by Sunday will be in the 30s and 40s. Highs in some parts of the state will stay below freezing early next week! That will be a big shift.

It is during the overnights when we stand a good chance of cooling well below freezing and staying there for many hours. Low temperatures early Tuesday morning could even drop into the single digits for our northern neighborhoods.

Frost forms when surfaces are cooled below the dew point. The temperature range is around 33° to 36°F. Winds have to be light for frost to form.

A freeze happens when the temperature hits 32° or colder. Any unprotected plants and flowers will take a hit if the temp stays below freezing for several hours.

When we hit 28° or colder for a few hours, then a hard freeze occurs. Plants, flowers and any other vegetation will be zapped.

A light freeze will not do it, but a hard killing freeze is best for those of us who suffer from allergies. I see this happening by early next week for the majority of Kansas.

The timing of our first fall freeze is not that unusual for our region right now. The earliest that has happened for Wichita was on September 22, 1995. The latest in the season was November 21, 1944.

As for a hard freeze, we are a little earlier than average for central and eastern Kansas. However, we are right on target for our northwest communities. The earliest hard freeze for Wichita was on October 8, 2000. The latest was on December 8, 1998!

Winter is coming!

-Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman

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